Furious locals dig 2ft ditches to stop 'selfish' tourists from overrunning beauty spot

DITCHES have been dug by furious locals to stop "selfish" tourists from overrunning a beauty spot.

The 2ft obstacles in Shingle Street, on the Suffolk coast, are designed to deter "detrimental" numbers of cars and campervans from parking on the side of the road.


Angry residents said they have had enough of holidaymakers blocking the single track, sometimes causing delays of up to 40 minutes.

Ellie Marshall, 20, a student from Ipswich, told The Sun Online: "It’s a lovely spot here for walking the dog and there is plenty of car parking space. 

"But people can be quite selfish by parking along the roads which spoils it for everyone. 

"The ditches are a good idea if they make holidaymakers stop and think twice."

Another woman who lives nearby revealed plans for the 'trenches' were formulated by the residents' association earlier this summer after "horrendous" crowds in lockdown.

She said: "It’s not a hostile move to put tourists off, it’s just to stop the single track road from being blocked.

"It can be horrendous at times and has taken us half an hour to get along to our house as it all gets blocked. 

"They were dug earlier this summer after we all agreed it was a good plan."

The tiny coastal community, just a few miles from the iconic medieval Sutton Hoo settlement, has just a handful of houses. 

It has been overrun by day trippers and people camping, particularly after it featured in the 2019 Richard Curtis and Danny Boyle film Yesterday starring Lily James and Ed Sheeran.

However, the worst of the problems occurred last year during the country's first national lockdown. 

"It’s not actually been too bad down here this summer," the woman said.

"The weather has been terrible so the numbers of people have been fine and it’s not been a problem.

"During lockdown it was horrendous. It really was as everyone was here and the road would be hard to get along. 

"When there’s been accidents in the past it can take as long as 40 minutes to get home. 

"We’ve not done it as an attack on tourists, not at all – we just want people to be able to get along the road."

'DETRIMENTAL NUMBERS'

The ditches dug out earlier this summer were about 2ft deep but have since grown over with wild flowers and weeds.

Numerous signs remain along the road warning that it is private land with "no overnight parking or camping".

James Mallinder, East Suffolk council cabinet member for the environment, told the East Anglian Daily Times: "It's basically to encourage the use of provided parking areas along Shingle Street.

"It's effectively a single track and people were parking along the along the verge and then blocking access."

"These things have to be controlled," he added. "There is a level where too many tourists can be detrimental to the community, the wildlife and to biodiversity.

"We ask people to be considerate on parking and taking their litter home, and to think, not just about the residents that live here, but also our wonderful wildlife."

People can be quite selfish by parking along the roads which spoils it for everyone.

Mr Mallinder went on to say the area was ill-suited to deal with large volumes of sightseers.

"We don't have the infrastructure here," he said. "The roads are old and single-track. There's no toilets or restaurants. 

"It's not a tourist centre. Sometimes I think visitors forget that.

"They're expecting picnic tables and public conveniences, and all the rest. And you know, we just don't provide that because it's not that sort of area."

The Sun Online has approached Suffolk County Council for comment.

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